Steering Teens Straight: The Aftermath

Remembering the losses of Briette Pietrocini and Sarah Nirschl

Note: The events described in this article are not based on real events but are dramatizations meant to educate Carlsbad High School students on the dangers of drunk driving. No students were harmed or faced any of the legal ramifications described.


As much as we want to hold on to the beautiful innocence or the bitter, sore memories that someone has left in this world, we cannot. The memories of those who pass away never fade.

Carlsbad High School students and faculty were filled with sadness after the deaths of two exemplary students, sophomore Briette Pietrocini and junior Sarah Nirschl in a head-on collision on Jan. 25 in front of the school after lunch.

The passing of these two students has deeply affected the lives of many people associated with Pietrocini and Nirschl as well as change their perception of the dangers of drinking and driving.

Known for her bright smile and friendly personality, Pietrocini brought joy to the lives of her family and friends. Inspiring and motivating others through cheer, Pietrocini became memorable through the generosity of her actions.

“Briette was extremely caring and always there for me whenever I was sad or depressed,” sophomore Nicolette Evans said. “I am heart-broken that she’s gone and I wish I could have helped her or stopped her from drinking at lunch.”

Pietrocini participated in multiple programs at Carlsbad High School such as junior varsity cheer, dance and best buddies. Pietrocini’s involvement in clubs and teams during and after school developed her personality and supported her pursuit towards a successful future.

“Briette would always help out in best buddies and was always amazing to everyone she met,” sophomore Raya Klooster said. “She was one of my best friends and I will always remember her for being beautiful, helpful and extremely caring.”

Pietrocini created a lasting impression on the lives of those who knew her and greatly influenced others at Carlsbad High School.

“She was the most beautiful and amazing person I know,” Evans said. “I think of her every day and I wish I could have done something, anything for her to still be alive.”

Nirschl, like Pietrocini, is remembered by her family and peers as a well-developed, influential and caring student. Nirschl’s death has struck the community.

“It’s horrifying to think that drinking and driving can have such a huge effect on everyone who was friends with Sarah,” junior Jenny Simpson said. “I miss her so much and I can’t stop thinking about her and how her family is dealing with what’s going on.”

Being involved in ASB, volleyball and multiple clubs, Nirschl held a strong presence in Carlsbad. Her energetic and competitive personality developed from her club volleyball team Wahine, where Nirschl stood out from her peers.

“Sarah is an amazingly caring person and tried her hardest to do well in every challenge she faced,” junior Kaytlin Barr said. “She and I would always practice together and she would motivate me to do my best.”

With her unwavering friendship and her positive outlook on life, Nirschl stood out amongst her peers.

“Sarah was so optimistic about the future,” junior Rebecca Romo said. “She always would talk about how excited she was to grow up and experience the world.”